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Adapting to cultural diversity requires a special attention to language, communication process, and ethnicity of different nationalities. Various beliefs, values, and attitudes play a significant role in determining the level of culture in which the person lives. Adaptation is a long process in which everything depends on the strong desire of the person. This paper examines Walt’s process of adapting to cultural diversity, discusses his communication style, and identifies the difference between Walt’s culture and the Hmong people.
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Analyzing Walt’s process of adapting to cultural diversity, the great attention should be paid to the main character’s strong will and determination. He went through the difficulties despite the trials he encountered. Being patriotic, he enhanced cooperative communication within the community. He tried to establish a proper atmosphere where everyone had a great chance to interact not compromising his or her values and beliefs. The relation between people was built on trust, similarity, flexibility, and open communication. Regardless of holding prejudices towards the cultures, feeling dislocated, living with people who are culturally unfamiliar to him, Walt showed his interest to others. He found the ways to appreciate culture importance and put all his efforts to show these unique features in communication process. Despite his callous demeanor, he became the savior to the whole neighborhood. He found the right words in communication with others and avoided slang and idioms. Walt used plain language. With gaining experience of building relation with others, Walt easily adapted to cultural and social diversity. With his friendly relations in community, he received nobility and appreciation. He emphasized his relations with the others with the help of peculiarities of intercultural communication. Showing respect, good attitude, interest, and sharing emotions enabled Walt to adapt to another culture faster.
A great difference beween the nations is observed in cultures. Therefore, culture plays the main role in intercultural communication. Identifying the difference between Walt’s culture and the Hmong people, the great attention should be paid to cultural and religious values and beliefs. Considerable differences in opinions in generations and relations between each other were a great opportunity to find the ways to build good rapport with each other.
The great difference is identified in religious and cultural conflict. Walt showed disbelief in the Catholic religion stating that he had attended church because of his wife’s preferences. He showed a lack of respect to the church while the Hmong people believed that their soul resides in their head. They thought that all things are endowed with spiritual beings and thus should be respected. The racial cultural conflict aroused between Walt’s culture and the Hmong people as both of them experienced the lack of cultural knowledge. Walt faced a language barrier; so, communication process was hard for him to overcome. He experienced general dismissal of the culture importance while the Hmong people were open to cultural diversity; their cultural life and religion was very rich.
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A great cultural difference was observed in clothes. Hmong people had a typical design of their clothing. Walt worn clothes that he used to wear in the country where he lived. Walt concentrated his attention on the things that were the most essential for him. To overcome the language barrier, he studied the culture to make his communication easier; to become a good interlocutor, he showed his interest in the person he was speaking with. When the conflict occurred, Walt became aware of several conflict dialects. Walt showed his interest in culture process to fulfil his knowledge and receive communication skills.
Looking closely at Walt’s communication style, there were several ways for improvement concerning leadership. He communicated with the help of listening.
Walt’s ccommunication skills helped him to interact with other members of the society building the relations based on trust to each other. He was close with his family members, and that was a key of strengthening their relationships. He showed consent and encouraged to good deeds. Despite differences in age, his verbal communication skills helped to Walt find mutual understanding with Thao and Sue and avoid misunderstanding and conflict. Being invited to a party, Walt showed his awkward state of being in a quite new place. With the help of verbal communication with Thao and Sue, Walt taught good manners of behavior trying to implement his own cultural norms. Sue, with the help of casual conversation with Walt, showed his mistakes in treating others. She stated the priorities of the culture, religion, and beliefs that helped Walt to adapt to the new environment. She praised him despite the expression of love and affection that was not common to Hmong people as they had different beliefs than other cultures. According to these examples, Walt used verbal communication of Thao and Sue. He expressed his ideas to make the process of teaching and learning easier (Martin & Nakayama, 2014). His main type of verbal communication – interpersonal communication, was a good example of showing respect and good treatment to the interlocutor.
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Walt used verbal communication when arguing and discussing his mistakes. This was one of the best ways to build good relations within the community. Thao’s assistance the woman in the street showed respect to her. The next example of verbal communication is seen in Thao’s protection of the gang. Walt used his strong manner of speech showing Thao his security. Sue perfectly taught Walt everything new for him. She showed respect and interest to him telling him about her own traditions and culture. Sue did not allow Walt to offend her with his stereotypes. It was easy for her to adapt to different styles of communication and avoid misunderstanding and conflicts with others. The main meaning Walt attached to talks was related to faster adaptation to a new place.
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